Month: July 2023

Blog Update 10

Found a nice local track near where I’m camped up with the promise of seeing Platypus, with no luck however. A 20 minute walk is now taking me two days to recover from. Pain killers for the knee and my lung function has radically dropped since catching COVID. I wont be posting as much as I have been instead Ill be concentrating on getting my health back in order.

Windlass Applications in Bushcraft

Simple Machines

Vitruvius, a military engineer writing about 28 BC, defined a machine as “a combination of timber fastened together, chiefly efficacious in moving great weights.” About a century later, Hero of Alexandria summarized the practice of his day by naming the “five simple machines” for “moving a given weight by a given force” as the lever, windlass, screw for power, wedge, and tackle block (pulley). Until nearly the end of the nineteenth century it was held that these “five mechanical powers” were the building blocks from which all more complex assemblages were constructed.






5 Simple Machines


Wheel and axle


Inclined plane



Edge Of The World

Arthur River area the far North Western edge of Tasmania, also referred to by locals as the edge of the world.

Tarkine river
your driving through the bush and all of a sudden you come into this
when theyre finished cutting the trees
100s of meters of it
later turned into paddocks for dairy cows

So far I have traveled to the far South, the far East and the far West and through the Highlands of Tasmania and have seen nothing I came here for, only glimpses. All I wanted to see were Old Growth Forests. After driving through the Tarkine I’m afraid the Old Growth Forest’s wont be here in another 50 years. All the way to Arthur River there were thousands of acres of dairy land. It became depressing after a while.

The trees following the roads were 60 year old regrowth. They cut the trees, regrow them and after cutting them many times the land is turned back into dairy farmland. Depending on what becomes more valuable at the time, dairy or timber, etc.

The trees that are replanted aren’t the same as old growth forests. They are pumped full of water to become large as fast as possible. However the structure isn’t the same. The old growth trees float in water where as the plantation trees sink.

It works the same depending on what side of a hill the trees are growing on. The darker sides of hills the trees grow slower, making for denser timber and grain. The trees growing on the sun side grow faster, therefore not as dense.

New laws have been brought in regarding harvesting old growth timbers, however with all new laws, they also start a black-market making the market prices change. poaching will soon be ripe.

Id like to see an organization formed that one knows the difference in tree growth to have fast growers to fund what I’m about to suggest but to have a slow growing tree organization that purposely plants trees on private and crown land that is on the darker side of the hills to have old growth dense timber in another 500 years. Stupid I know when governments only think up to the next election.

I want to obtain Celery Top Pine, Huon Pine, Black Heart Sassafras, Antarctic Beech seeds and start planting them every where I travel. I wont ever see the outcome but it would be funny having some dumbarse scientist try and figure out why all these small plantations of rare timbers have sprung up all over the country long after I’m gone. That is if they aren’t milled or burnt to the ground beforehand.

Next time I come down just old trees and fly fishing. The leg should be up to it by then or at-least its a goal to work towards with rehab. Being a arborist from long ago trees still fascinate me.

I built a 6 weight IMX Loomis fly rod when I was in my early 20’s and soon found it was too heavy for where I was living and have yet to still catch a trout on it. I really require a 4 weight for where I have been traveling. I’m determined to catch something on the Loomis, even a carp that are in the local drains near where I was renting on the mainland. I missed out on trout season. It closed as I arrived and it will reopen the day before I leave.

the route I took around the island

Fringe Dweller

new camp
river view
had a visitor for lunch, lots of wild chickens in Tasmania

I’m still getting used to van life. I cant seem to settle. Since November Ive had to keep busy all the time, now the van is on the road I get itchy feet every few days. I know I need to organize the inside better. Met a Youtuber today Richard from Bushcub’s Adventures. At-least I actually talked to someone. I’m starting to feel like a fringe dweller, living on the edge of society. Life was easier when I had my staffy, Its been 9 months now and I still miss her every day. Had to come down out of the hills, not enough sun to charge the panels. I was using the diesel heater more up there.

Falls Trek

I don’t know who works out how long it takes for a track to walk but their full of shite! 10 minutes more like 30. Pushed myself on this one. I don’t like giving up. It also ended the day for me, camped around the corner for the night.

Poachers Knots

(Note : Snaring is illegal in Australia)

Poachers Knot vs the Scaffold knot vs the Canadian Jam knot ?

I became more interested in this side of bushcraft after watching the Australian Alone Program and thought it couldn’t possibly be that difficult. Driving around Southern Tasmania I see roadkill every 50 feet.

The Scaffold knot is tied the same way as a poachers knot except it has one extra turn. What Id like to try for myself is which knot sets faster and stays tight between the Poachers knot and the Canadian Jam knot. When a Jam knot locks it becomes tighter and tighter. The nooses are also different. The noose is part of the Jam knot where as the noose from a Poachers knot is formed from the main line being passed through the eye of the Poachers knot.

Survival Courses Tasmania SCT

Ill be having a coffee with Alex Mileham from Survival Courses Tasmania next week. Alex has done numerous extended treks, in the the Nepalese Himalayas, North & Northwest India, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, as well as a number of remote regions in the UK, Indonesian islands, the Australian mainland and Tasmania.

I had a wish list of things to do while in Tasmania. Fly fishing for large trout, look at the three largest trees in the state and do a couple of days training with Alex. However after the van build has emptied the bank account and the 16 days of hospital have absolutely flattened me. Ive had to cancel much of my intended trip.

Ill be working my way slowly up the east of Tasmania, staying at free camp spots until reaching the ferry in time to head back to the mainland. Ive lost too much muscle and energy and need a good three months of bike riding to get my lung function back up to a decent level before trying to tackle training again.

Blog Update 9 Third Time Lucky

Sorry for not posting much. Three times in hospital, Ive been exhausted. The third time pneumonia and a fungal infection in lungs. 16 days in total. On the road finally. Still trying to get used to van life after being in a house for so long.

woke up to this
different view
first campsite
checking out the tour at the wooden boat center
second campsite
waking up to this
walking trail
back at the campsite for second night
my mornings walking and taking photos
tried to walk to octopus tree but only made it halfway, leg and lungs weren’t up to it. decided to head back home early cant do much with my health like this
third campsite stayed here a few days 50 feet from the beach
no internet catching up on my reading
view of the coast

EDIT I decided to call off most of the trip and head back early to the mainland. I’m feeling hammered. The Octopus tree convinced me of that. It was meant to be a 15 minute walk to the tree. 20 minutes later I was halfway there. A mate called me on the phone which amazed me having no reception for the first part of the walk. I said if you dont hear from me in an hour call for help. I turned and looked behind me a saw the rocks I had just clamored down. There was no way I was going to make it back up. 40 minutes later after taking four paces and resting four paces and resting the whole way back up I was out. I spent the next two days on tramadol. I’m really thinking of archiving the blog for the next three months and do nothing else but bike riding and gym work till I’m back on my feet.

next campsite

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